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As this New Year reaches the end of its first month it would be of great value to you if you take time to review how you have done during the first 31 days.

Hopefully you came back after Christmas full of energy, you made your resolutions, and you were ready to go. You’ve now had a month to make some progress.

Yes, we are at the end of the first month of the year. So let me ask you – what have you done with January? Has it been a good or bad month? Have you stuck with your New Year Resolutions or given up on them already?

These are important questions, and ones you should have a very clear and definite answer for. If you have done a monthly personal review you would have such an answer. But maybe you’d rather stay in the dark, not admitting that you started off this year badly. Alternatively by doing a review you know it will wake up to the things you haven’t been doing and can get yourself sorted before this year is almost gone.

There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest. Confucius

A review can re-excite you with thoughts of your future vision and ambitions, remind you the importance of taking the actions towards your goals, ensuring you’re on track and avoiding getting bogged down or worse still misdirected.

Taking the time to note what progress you’ve made and whether you’ve hit or missed your personal goals helps to re-focus your activity. Regular reflection helps you to not only check that you’re making progress but to take note of each step you are taking towards your goals.

I start by scoring myself for 8 key areas of my life.
Health
• Work
• Social Life
• Financial
Personal Growth
• Possessions
• Financial
• Relationships

Then I examine each of these areas individually to ensure I’m doing what’s important, especially keeping my promises to myself.

So for example when it comes to my health, I ask questions such as:
• Is my diet proving beneficial to my health, energy and productivity?
• Am I getting enough sleep, so I’m feeling energised first thing in the morning?
• Do I feel alert most days?
• Am I doing enough exercise?
• Am I putting enough effort into what I’m doing?
• Am I taking suitable steps to manage stress, using the relaxation methods I committed to?
• Am I successfully controlling my bad habits?
• Am I focusing the necessary time and attention to this area?
• Have I made satisfactory progress this month?

You may well be incredibly happy with how you’re doing in this area. If so give yourself a pat on the back, set some specific targets for the next month and keep going. If on the other hand you’re not happy with progress or your focus on this area, ask yourself “what can I do in this next month to perform vastly better in this area?” By doing this you are furthering your commitment and setting specific steps to ensure you do make progress.

Now you have to ask questions about each of the other areas in your life particularly those relevant to your goals.

What did I do that I’m proud of?
What goals did I attempt?
What have I achieved?
What good habits did I focus on?
What have I tried?
What have I failed to do?
How am I doing?
How can I do better?
What do I want to achieve in this next month?

You cannot manage what you don’t measure. By checking in on a monthly basis you will know whether you are on track or not so that you can correct your course a lot more quickly. You see it’s all about assessing whether your activities are going as intended, whether you achieved what you wanted to achieve. Therefore, if you have set your objectives clearly and appropriately, it will be much easier to assess whether you have been more or less successful.

You have to review and analyse that you are moving forward in the right direction. With the clear sense of the road you now want to take it t is essential you keep moving forward, taking your life towards the place where you want it to be.

You should always review your progress to ensure you are making good advances. If that is not the case then you need to take action to remedy the situation. By doing this every month will ensure things don’t get away from you, giving you the best chance of achieving your desired goals.

So give yourself half an hour right now and determine how this month has been for you.

“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.” Yvonne Woon,

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.

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